Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said there was enough evidence to prove that the Popular Front of India, banned by the Centre for five years, was sowing seeds of violence in society.
The aim of the organisation was to spread rumours and trigger violence, Fadnavis, who holds charge of the Home department, told reporters here. The central government on Wednesday banned PFI, alleged to be involved in several violent and terror incidents and having "links" with global terror groups like ISIS, along with its several associates for five years.
"There is enough evidence with the government and probe agencies that the PFI was sowing seeds of violence. Spreading rumours, raising funds and triggering violence was their aim,” Fadnavis said.
"A fake video of a mosque being demolished in a north eastern state was circulated with an intention to trigger violence. We have seen such an incident in Amravati in the past. It later came to light that the video was from Bangladesh,” he said.
Fadnavis said Kerala was the first state to demand a ban on the PFI. Similar demands were later made by other states in the country also. With the Union government banning the PFI, like every other state Maharashtra will also issue a detailed order on the implementation of the ban, he said.
Besides PFI, the organisations which were also declared banned under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA include Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
More than 150 people allegedly linked with PFI were detained or arrested in raids across seven states on Tuesday, five days after a similar pan-India crackdown against the 16-year-old group had led to the arrest of over a hundred of its activities and seizure of several dozen properties.
(With PTI inputs)